Retirement village idea is one proving to be popular
AN idea floated at a public event for a retirement complex on the edge of Petersfield has been given favourable reviews.
The idea was suggested at a recent open day aimed at gaining views on how Petersfield should grow in future, and the findings will be published as the Neighbourhood Plan.
Petersfield Town Council clerk Neil Hitch said: “The land next to Harrier Way proposed for the retirement complex is in private ownership and the owners haven’t been approached as far as I know. The idea was just put forward in principle to gauge support or otherwise for it.
“Of the people at the open event asked, most were in favour of the idea of a retirement village on the site.
“But I have to stress this was just put forward by a company that provides retirement accommodation and there is no planning application and the land isn’t designated for housing so even if this was to progress, and assuming permissions were gained, it could be years before anything happens on the land.
“The Neighbourhood Plan steering group has no opinions on this, and as far as the group is concerned, there won’t be any movement on this in the foreseeable future.”
The scrub-covered seven acre site is opposite the eastern end of Durford Road.
The proposal suggests it should be levelled and 60 retirement apartments and bungalows, and a similar number of homes for sheltered-living accommodation and a nursing home, are built.
If the idea is realised, the complex is likely to be called Durford Oaks, and could employ around 120 staff.
The site currently houses concrete domes that were originally used to house battery chickens, and then from the 1970s onwards was a favourite gathering place for teenagers.
Today one of the domes is owned by David Graver, of David Graver Building and Property Services, and is used for storage.
Another belongs to an unknown owner, said a company spokesman.
The spokesman also said they knew nothing about the retirement complex idea.
Once the Neighbourhood Plan is completed, residents will vote in the town’s first referendum on aproving the contents. It will then become a planning ‘bible,’ guiding and influencing decisions.
Work on it is being funded by a £20,000 government award, and the process is being guided by Petersfield Town Council.
It is due to be published next year, but there are fears it will be delayed, as East Hampshire District Council and South Downs National Park Authority rewrite a similar district-wide plan.
A government inspector refused to approve the district-wide Joint Core Strategy, and the council is expected to spend £170,000 putting it right.
Mr Hitch said: “The strategy has to be approved before the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan can be completed so there might be delays.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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